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Spaulding last won the day on September 18

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  1. I love series. I hate series where the middle books end with cliffhangers. Let me feel like the characters will be fine until I get back to them when the next book comes out. (I'm consistent. I hate Star Wars 2 and 5, unless it is guaranteed I get to watch the next one within 24 hours. ) Add to that, I'm writing a series for children. (8-12 year olds.) So, the one thing all my endings had/will have in common is that. -- They're safely eating breakfast together before going to their new home. -- They're safely going to sleep in the boat. -- They're safely on a ferry crossing the Delaware Bay. -- What could possibly go wrong as they walk across Delaware in early November? etc. I need a dip at the end, so I'm giving dips for my readers. All is right in their world... for now.
  2. Oh, that's a good'n. Has anyone in your family been seriously sick and you can't do a thing about it? It's much easier to be sick yourself than to have a love one be sick. At least you know how bad it is for you. If it's someone else, you tend to think it's the absolute worst. (Or is that just me?) And there is still nothing you can do to make him feel better. (Yes, there is pray, however, unless God does the miraculous, not knowing how he'll answer makes that feel like nothing too.) That same feeling rests on your wife character. Scared worst because it's him, not her. Make the reader feel that along with what she thinks she has to do to fix it.
  3. Well, the beginning is where trouble starts. The end is when everything calms down. So, if it's not the beginning, nor the end, it has to be middle, right? And honestly, that's why I couldn't do beginning middle end anymore, because climax isn't the middle. That rising action and falling action made it feel more story-like.
  4. I found the synopsis fairly easy by plug-and-playing this cheat sheet. The query, however, more than made up for that "fairly easy" moment. I'd rather clean the entire bathroom with a toothbrush than work on another query ever again.
  5. I spent three days studying the tutorials and got no where. As far as learning curve goes, I'd park myself at Square 2 on a board with... well? Since I couldn't get past Square 2, I never figured out how many squares there were. But if it's a bell curve, I'm stuck on the first lip. (And I did learn Quickenbooks for bookkeeping. There are just some things I simply can't learn.)
  6. B.J. Bello is a linebacker (American football) who made it to the 2018 Super Bowl. Ever hear of him? No? That's okay. He didn't play in the Super Bowl. He didn't even get off the practice squad onto the field that season until mid December. BUT he has a Super Bowl ring, so yeah, he made it big. (Free agent today, and has been on six teams in the six years he's played ball.) My expectations for "making it big." I don't expect to be the next J.K. Rowling. Just put me in the game. I'd be happy if anyone, who wasn't a family member or friend, bought my book. That's big. Thrilled if that one person bought the whole series. That's huge!
  7. I recommend Self-editing for Fiction Writers. I don't think they miss a beat on the many ways we can mess up a story.
  8. This reminds me of an old joke. Three old men were sitting together. The first one said, "When I was a kid, I walked five miles to school every day." The second one said, "I walked seven miles in old shoes, in three feet of snow up a mountain, both ways." The third said, "You had feet?" That's about how I create tension. Give no breaks for the characters. Even if it can't possibly go wrong, have it go wrong. And then wronger. And wronger. And wronger, right up to the climax. Even after the climax there was one or two more wrongers. (They seriously needed a bath after the climax, but the water was frigid. Not sure if that was wronger, or acceptable after all they went through. ) Pile it on.
  9. Rob, I learned beginning middle and end back in grade school, and thought that worked until I was writing the last book. To me, middle = climax. Well, shoot. That causes a gap between beginning and middle, (now called "rising action"), and a gap between climax and ending, (now called "falling action.") Until I learned those words, I felt rushed between what starts it off and what cause the climax. And then rushed between climax and "The End." If you don't need lingo, then don't worry about it. But I need to know "what is that thingy I'm doing?" Or even, "why isn't this working?"
  10. I think the idea is a good idea, overall, but "never" is too absolute for me. Too much deep-third is as tedious as too distant. There is an ebb and flow using deep-third. I think of it much like camera distance in a movie. What do you want to see -- panoramic? Close-up? Or medium-frame? In our case, we have one more distance choice -- inside the head of the protag. We can become the character intimately. Closer than close-up. But that much intimacy for extended periods is like being there when the character needs a potty break. Give him/her some privacy. I do prefer not adding distant filters, ("thought verbs"), when the protag is experiencing the events, but sometimes he's figuring out what others are thinking too, so it's nice when he gets his buddy is realizing/understanding something.
  11. Mom's favorite limerick from the days when we were children. There once was a boy from Glass, Who had the most beautiful ass, Not round and pink, Like you might think. Gray, long ears, and ate grass.
  12. BTW, you are most certainly welcome to be on either side. If I knew there was a THE Answer, I'd love to write THE book that all writers must buy. (If I could.) But here's where I see the second writer, disagreeing with himself/herself. Star Wars. I could even possibly agree with him if 1-3 didn't come out after 4-6. The Emperor and Apprentice were causing mayhem and destruction before Phantom Menace started, affecting Obi Wan's life immediately. By the time Revenge of the Sith was over, the only life not affected yet was Solo. (And he wouldn't have had the bounty on him, if the Emperor hadn't affected his life before New Hope started.) If any incident is pointed to that shows the Emperor's "true colors," I'd go with murder of the younglings. Also, I think POV for 4-6 is Luke. The inciting incident for him was either meeting up with Ben, or his family slaughtered. (I think those two incidents are Campbell's two thresholds in the Hero's Journey. Meeting Ben nudged him into a different life. His aunt and uncle's death gave him no choice.) This also could be something that Writer Two sees differently than I do. I do think the inciting incident has to happen to the protagonist specifically. So, this might just be a case that we're climbing the same mountain, but picked different sides to start it. Ultimately the top is inciting incident though. (Only to find out it's just a foothill, and there is a bigger mountain to climb -- the rest of the story.) But this line doesn't work for me -- "The Protagonist seeks the solution, the Antagonist seeks to prevent it." In my story, the antagonists don't even know the protagonists exist. And the protagonists don't even think of the antagonists. They know a law was created that messes up their lives, but the thought of taking their problem to the lawmakers doesn't enter their minds until Book 2. And the antagonists naturally assumes anyone telling them that stuffed animals are alive needs psychiatric help, not their help. (Wouldn't you? ) Also, I've heard of the Three Act pattern. I don't want to learn it, because it's tough enough to combine story arc for one book with seven-book story arc and using the Hero's Journey as a skeleton without adding yet another guideline. I'm also not very good playing chess for the same reason. My brain can't process above two moves. If I'm still alive and still writing when this whole story is out, I'll probably play with it then.
  13. The first scene is your inciting incident, assuming she doesn't pack the car, the horse, and the cat often. Easy way I pick out the inciting incident is when does normal-life end? You don't need to start with normal-life. (Even if she normally packs the car, horse, and cat, it's not normal, given her life is about to change forever.) It sounds like, (and I've never heard Lock-in before, so this is my first understanding; therefore I can easily be wrong), Lock-in is when the protag makes the first decision of what to do after normal-life evaporates. My inciting Incident happened hours before the protag woke up. He, (Spaulding the teddy bear), woke up in the trash, and had no idea why. The lock-in happened a few chapters later. He met a couple other teddy bears in the same pickle, so stuck with them, because who wants to be all alone? But when one of them was snatched up by a dog as a chew toy, Spaulding made his first informed decision -- run away. The little bear started chasing the dog to get the other bear back, and the other choice clicked in Spaulding. He wasn't going to lose both of them. Up to that point, he was blowing in the wind. At that point, he anchored/locked-in.
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